What's that loud noise?

PUBLISHED: 16:30 12 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:07 24 May 2010

COMMUNITY safety chiefs in Portishead are calling for new residents to the town to be educated about its safety siren system. Members of Portishead Local Action Team (LAT) are concerned the people moving to the town do not know what the sirens are or what

COMMUNITY safety chiefs in Portishead are calling for new residents to the town to be educated about its safety siren system.Members of Portishead Local Action Team (LAT) are concerned the people moving to the town do not know what the sirens are or what to do when they sound.Currently the warning system, known as the Severnside Sirens, are tested on the third day of each month at 3pm to check they are in working order. But hundreds of people - some who have only recently moved to Portishead - are at a loss to what the sirens mean and what to do if they are activated.Now Portishead Local Action Team is calling for a mass leaflet drop to homes across the town to educate people what to do in case of an emergency.LAT chairman Geraldine Box said: "Portishead is growing at such a fast rate there are people moving in all the time."However many of them do not know what the sirens mean when they do go off."When I moved here I was feeding the ducks when I heard them go off and they really scared me - I just didn't know what to do."It must be very frightening for a child."What is the point of having the sirens if people do not know what to do if they do go off?"We need a proper educational drive and perhaps a leaflet drop across Portishead to inform our new residents what the sirens are and what to do in an emergency."The system was installed in 1999 in a partnership between local councils, the port authority and local businesses to warn people if there was a disaster at neighbouring Portishead or Avonmouth Docks.The sirens are situated at Portishead, Avonmouth, Shire-hampton, Aust, Pilning and Severn Beach and if they go off, residents are advised to go inside, close all doors and windows and turn on the radio for updates. North Somerset Council spokesman Richard Turner said: "Part of the Severnside Siren Trust's role is to inform the local population of the scheme and how it works."We understand the trust is in the process of updating the information it sends out and in due course will be re-distributing it."Our emergency planning officer will be meeting with the trust in May to see how this is progressing."Information about what to do in case of an emergency can be found on the North Somerset Council website.

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